Boxing


Enzo Maccarinelli: Can He Win The British Cruiserweight Title? McPhilbin-Maccarinelli March 23rd

By James Slater - Welsh powerhouse Enzo Maccarinelli, 33-5(26) never fought for the British title back when he was an up and coming cruiserweight contender in the early 2000s. Instead, the man from Swansea captured the WBU belt, followed by the more prestigious WBO strap as he became world famous. Now, his career on the rebound after suffering four defeats in his last nine fights, the 31-year-old is close to challenging for the domestic belt all these years after turning pro..

Set to challenge new champ Shane McPhilbin on March 23rd in Wolverhampton, Maccarinelli - who had dropped down to light-heavyweight, winning one fight at the lower weight he said he felt stronger, faster and more powerful at - will likely enter the ring as the favourite. But 26-year-old McPhilbin, 8-2(5) showed in winning the belt from Leon Williams in January that he is very good at scoring the upset. The never-stopped Nottingham man was down in the 1st-round against Williams, only to come back and score a fairytale last-round stoppage to grab the title.

A danger man of the highest order, McPhilbin - unbeaten as a cruiser - is in no mood to lose his title in his first defence. The March fight could well be a real barnburner. Both men can punch, “Big Macc” especially, and both have attractive, fan-friendly styles. I suspect there will be next to no feeling out process in this fight!

So, will we see the feel-good McPhilbin story continue to grow, or will we see ageing warrior Maccarinelli manage to win the title he never even challenged for when he was a younger man? The loser of this fight may have no realistic place to go; Maccarinelli especially. McPhilbin is young enough to be able to bounce back as long as he doesn’t take too much of a beating, but Enzo cannot afford a 6th loss - much less a 6th KO loss.

I favour Maccarinelli, slightly. But I wouldn’t want to bet against the gutsy, ultra-determined champion managing to keep his title. Expect lots of fireworks on March 23rd.

Article posted on 16.02.2012



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